Bank of Canada raises overnight rate target to 1 ½ per cent
The Bank of Canada today increased its target for the overnight rate to 1 per cent.
The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 per cent and the deposit rate is 1 per cent. The Bank expects the global economy to grow by about 3 per cent in 2018 and 3 per cent in 2019, in line with the April Monetary Policy Report (MPR). The US economy is proving stronger than expected, reinforcing market expectations of higher policy rates and pushing up the US dollar. This is contributing to financial stresses in some emerging market economies. Meanwhile, oil prices have risen. Yet, the Canadian dollar is lower, reflecting broad-based US dollar strength and concerns about trade actions. The possibility of more trade protectionism is the most important threat to global prospects.
Canadas economy continues to operate close to its capacity and the composition of growth is shifting. Temporary factors are causing volatility in quarterly growth rates: the Bank projects a pick-up to 2.8 per cent in the second quarter and a moderation to 1.5 per cent in the third. Household spending is being dampened by higher interest rates and tighter mortgage lending guidelines. Recent data suggest housing markets are beginning to stabilize following a weak start to 2018. Meanwhile, exports are being buoyed by strong global demand and higher commodity prices. Business investment is growing in response to solid demand growth and capacity pressures, although trade tensions are weighing on investment in some sectors. Overall, the Bank still expects average growth of close to 2 per cent over 2018-2020.
Multi-family dwellings reach record high
The value of permits issued by Canadian municipalities increased 4.7% to $8.2 billion in May. This followed a 4.7% drop in April, the only month this year where municipalities reported a total value below the $8.0 billion mark.
In the residential sector, municipalities issued $5.5 billion worth of permits in May, up 7.7% from April. This was the second-highest value on record, following the $5.7 billion worth of permits issued in October 2016. Five provinces posted increases, with Ontario and British Columbia reporting the largest gains.
The multi-family dwelling component reached a record high in May, with municipalities issuing $3.1 billion worth of building permits. The increase was the result of higher construction intentions in British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta.
The value of single-family dwelling permits also rose in May, up 6.2% from the previous month to $2.5 billion. This was the first increase following four consecutive monthly declines. Ontario led the seven provinces that registered increases.
Municipalities approved the construction of 21,344 new dwellings in May, up 6.6% from April. The rise was mainly attributable to multi-family dwellings, up 7.4% to 15,983 new units. Single-family dwellings increased 4.3% to 5,361 new units.